My desktop travails, 2: Glacially slow X.org
kirk at strauser.com
Mon Nov 8 13:36:52 PST 2004
I recently consolidated my underloaded FreeBSD personal web/nameserver with
my underused Debian workstation by scavenging all of the good hardware from
the Debian machine into the FreeBSD system and installing X and KDE on the
result. My first migration glitch was configuring my 7-button trackball,
but that's working now and I'm ready to tackle the next project.
The new server/workstation is a Thunderbird 1.4GHz with 1.25GB of RAM and a
GeForce 2 MX 400 graphics card. I'm running OS 5.3 (built today), and all
ports up-to-date (as of Sunday).
Basically, many X features are painfully slow - much slower than they were
on the old Debian system with the same graphics card, less RAM, and a
P-III/933 CPU. The biggest example is text scrolling with anti-aliased
fonts. I used to enable subpixel rendering on my square-pixel CRT and it
looked beautiful. FreeBSD and X.org renders the fonts as nicely, but I can
physically watch the screen being updated every time the screen scrolls in
Konsole. I can switch back to aliased fonts and get reasonably fast
scrolling, but the text looks ugly and I'd rather not resort to that.
Also, although I'm using the nvidia-driver port, glxgears reports a
framerate between 2 and 3. I've tried using both Nvidia's AGPGART and
FreeBSD's own (following the instructions that came with the port and
rebooting between trials to unload the agp.ko kernel module).
So, any idea why my text rendering and GLX are so painfully slow?
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